Henry Owen

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The Reverend Dr. Henry Owen (1716 – 14 October 1795) was a Welsh theologian and Biblical scholar. Perhaps his most significant contribution to biblical scholarship is his discussion of the date of publication and the form and manner of the composition of the four canonical gospel accounts. It is arguable whether his thoughts on the subject contributed to the development of Johann Jakob Griesbach's Synoptic Gospel hypothesis.



Owen was born in 1716 near Dolgellau, Merionethshire (Gwynedd), and died on 14 October 1795 at Edmonton. He entered Jesus College, Oxford, in 1736, where he took his degrees in arts (BA 1739, MA 1743), while also devoting himself to mathematical studies, before concentrating on medical studies (MB 1746, MD 1753).

He practised medicine for three years; but, by his own admittance considerations of health and inclination then caused him to dedicate himself fully to his academic studies and pastoral work, having been ordained deacon and priest in the Anglican Church in 1746. Contemporaries acknowledged his learning; and from 1769 to 1771 he was Boyle Lecturer. In 1760 he married Mary Butts, daughter of an Anglican bishop. He had a son and five daughters with her.

Whilst neither of them seems to mention a meeting in their writings, it is conceivable that Owen had been personally known to J. J. Griesbach. For the latter had visited England upon completion of his undergraduate studies; and, according to an extant list of books, his estate contained a copy of...
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